STATEMENT: Save the Boundary Waters statement on Twin Metals filing notice to appeal federal legal victory for the BWCA

Nov 9, 2023
Libby London
Save the Boundary Waters statement on Twin Metals filing notice to appeal federal legal victory for the BWCA

Ely, MN– Today, Twin Metals, a subsidiary of Chilean mining conglomerate Antofagasta plc, filed a notice to appeal the dismissal of the company’s federal lawsuit against the U.S. Government. This lawsuit, brought by Twin Metals in August 2022, challenged the rejection of its lease applications and mine plan, as well as the cancellation of its mineral leases, which had been unlawfully renewed during the Trump Administration. In May, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness - the lead organization in the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters - ten local businesses and four conservation groups intervened in the suit on the side of the U.S. Government.

Ingrid Lyons, Executive Director of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, issued the following statement:

“Twin Metals is at it again: its lawsuit was dismissed on September 6, 2023, and we won this case fair and square. But just this morning, Twin Metals filed to appeal this decision. By appealing U.S. District Court Judge Cooper’s dismissal of the lawsuit, Twin Metals is clearly trying to revive its rejected plan to build a dangerous sulfide-ore copper mine along rivers, lakes, and streams that flow directly into the Wilderness. It’s obvious that it will stop at nothing to resurrect its rejected sulfide-ore copper mine in the watershed of the Boundary Waters.”

“The United States government followed the rule of law when it requested that Judge Cooper dismiss Twin Metals’ misguided lawsuit that attempted to force the renewal of terminated federal mining leases next to the Boundary Waters. Toxic mining has no place next to America's most visited Wilderness and its only significant lakeland Wilderness. Strong litigation is one of our key strategies to protect the Boundary Waters forever.”


A vast collection of peer-reviewed science shows that if a Twin Metals mine was built along the rivers and streams flowing into the Wilderness, pollution and environmental degradation would be certain. A peer-reviewed independent study from Harvard University showed that protection of the Boundary Waters from the proposed sulfide-ore mine would result in dramatically more jobs and more income over a 20-year period. Nearly 70 percent of Minnesotans support permanent protection for this priceless Wilderness area.